Ron Becker reported on the New Brunswick Faculty Council meeting of April 15th. He presented the points made in our context discussion and Bob Sewell's powerpoint on the materials budget. The attendees were especially concerned about the steadily decreasing decline in RUL's resources, most particularly relating to the materials budget and electronic resource. It was clear that they identified this as our most compelling problem. This was also seen as a major obstacle in recruiting and maintaining faculty who are aware of the differences in availability of digital resources between Rutgers and other comparable universities. Professor Dan Fishman demonstrated his e-journal in applied psychology. It was well received, but not necessarily seen as a priority by a number of the attendees. It is clear that they are more concerned with content than with details of delivery. More and more faculty here and elsewhere are buying into the open access concept.
The Graduate School is working with the library and OIT in a pilot program to submit dissertations digitally. $8,000 has been granted by Phil Furmanski's office to help support this effort. We are no longer binding and storing dissertations. Some concern was raised regarding the substandard cataloging done by UMI, and that we should consider enhancing that cataloging to provide better access to our own dissertations regardless of the format in which they are delivered to users.
Gary Golden reported that the OIT has little funding to develop and maintain the infrastructure, resulting in very sporadic Internet access in New Brunswick.
The remainder of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of the points raised in our context outline. Some points raised:
Will we need to rearrange liaison responsibilities to reflect the changing priorities of the university? e.g., will we need a transportation studies librarian or can a group of existing librarians collaborate to serve this interdisciplinary area? How will we factor in library support in building new programs and strengthening old ones? Development of the library needs to be tied to the development of the university itself. New collaborative relationships will need to be developed. We need to look at "instant text messaging" and other new approaches to enhance "Ask a Librarian". We need to support individual and organizational development, including the areas of managing people and resources. We need to enhance our relationships with OIT. We need to develop a "marketing plan" both within and beyond the State We need to better explain our services to students and faculty at RU as well. We need to explore other partnerships and develop them.
At our next meeting, those who attended the faculty symposium on learning spaces and the program "Marketing 101" will report on implications for strategic planning and each subgroup (research, faculty teaching, student learning) will rearrange its preliminary recommendations into groupings that align with the university's five strategic goals. Also, Roger Smith will discuss the results of a focus group study with the undergraduate student assistants at Access Services in New Brunswick.
The steering committee will next meet on Thursday, May 5, 2005 in the Heyer Room on the 4th floor of the Alexander Library.
Ron Becker, Chair